It's been a real perception switcheroo for us in the rock band Heart since the late '70s and '80s. At that time, the idea of any song of ours running in a television ad campaign was sort of like having your innocent child dishonored and the pure artistic poetry ripped away from it's holy soul.
But then, we had some modern pop culture shock waves to absorb in the decades ahead.
Apparently the 'Royal We' -- we, the wild eyed idealistic baby boomers -- still had a lot to learn about artistic integrity and the next incoming generations with their incoming tech. Talk about contrast.
As kids we had only one TV in our house that was for special family together-time viewing. Appointment television. The one house phone attached to the kitchen wall had to be shared and no machine would answer it. It would go unanswered if the family was seated at the dinner table. The idea was whoever it was would call back if it was really important. We always joked that the president should call back after dinner.
Tonight looking out at an arena full of beautiful rock fans, I check the faces again to see if there is any hint of disdain or any sarcastic sniggerishness out there because now the song was 'sold out' to the Swiffer company. It's been a fascination of mine to check these faces this summer while up there rocking.
The Swiffer Song, as the young kids in our family now call it, has somehow risen above any such sarcasm and escaped such a horrible uncool fate. As a matter of fact, tonight I beheld thousands of cell phones swaying in time, some sharing with friends, some bootlegging, or just taking snapshots. But the couples and young kids whose faces I saw were the most telling. That song is not devalued by repetitive commercial overkill. It is not just some jingle. It became part of our modern language in the romantic American conversation.
In a shared moment, shy guys with their dates sing a little bit to subliminally lest his date know he might dare to be a sweet guy. Little kids sing it under their breath checking to see who else is singing, too. There seems to be no shame in knowing and loving a simple romantic song just because a silly TV ad dropped it into our lives.
A song becomes a friend to us in our journey. It helps us get through our crazy lives.
Smiles are passed around on this good summer night. It rings familiar and true. Because music is our family.